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Tag: reading

Stretch

  • Stretch out your body – try a little light yoga after waking up in the morning. I enjoy a simple “Sun Salutation” (I learned it on the Nintendo Wii!).
  • Stretch out your mind – make time for reading every day. Fiction or nonfiction, it doesn’t matter.
  • Stretch out your soul – find a way to be creative every day. For me, I try to sit down for fifteen minutes each day to play and write at the piano.
  • Stretch out your heart – when interacting with other people, lead with love. Imagine the best in them. It may seem like you’re leaving yourself open and vulnerable, but take the chance. It can expand your everyday relationships to something more meaningful and powerful. As we age, our default becomes cynicism and skepticism. Fight it!

Every Day – Inspiration

Find inspiration every day.

  • Read a chapter – Right now I’m reading “A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould’s Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano” by Katie Hafner.
  • Quietly sit – Go to a park and absorb some nature. Go to a coffee shop and absorb some commotion. Feed your senses.
  • Listen to a “brand new music” playlist – All of the streaming music services have a collection of cutting edge releases. Check them out!

Light a spark. Set your creativity ablaze! 

-Josh 

Spare Time

There is a certain resource that all of us have some of, we have no choice but to constantly spend it, and there are not really many ways of getting more of it. That thing of course is time. Time is our most precious resource, and so much of it is already committed elsewhere – be it work, our obligations, or asleep in bed. Think about how much of your time is actually yours to spend how you choose. Not as much as you might have hoped for, huh? So ask yourself – when you find yourself with extra time, are you spending it wisely?

There are a few categories of activity that I think of as worthwhile spare-time expenditure. These are self-healing, self-improvement, and altruism. Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

  1. Self-healing – You gotta take care of you. If you are sick or exhausted, this is a no-brainer, but it is also relevant when you’re feeling okay. Take a power nap. Meditate. Make some soup or tea. Attend to yourself! If you are not feeling your best, you cannot hope to be your best.
  2. Self-Improvement – When you find yourself with free time in your home, what is your default action? Is it finding the remote control? Could you be doing something that may be just as enjoyable, but also is feeding your mind, spirit, or body? Could you read a couple chapters and then check Facebook? How about a quick workout before queueing up the “Doctor Who” you’ve been meaning to catch up on? I’m not suggesting you give up those pure feel-good comforts of life – just keep in mind that every moment you put into bettering your self will make every moment after feel richer and more alive.
  3. Altruism – This is the number one in my book. I believe we have a responsibility to everyone who came before us and to everyone who is going to come after us to take this universe that we have inherited and give it a little shove toward the next group of folks coming along – paying it forward. This can be as grand or as modest a gesture as you want – it all feeds the soul. It can be as resource-intensive as a full-day investment in building homes for the homeless or feeding the hungry, but it can also be as easy as simply bringing something to Goodwill once a week. Anything you do will spark those special receptors in your psyche that light up whenever you give without the expectation of receiving. Take it from me – the ROI is without parallel. [sidenote – if there is an ROI, is it truly altruism? Probably not. Whatever.] Careful though – keep it up and you may just get addicted!

For me, the easiest actions are (in the same order as above): 1) a quick workout – either the “7-minute workout” or some yoga sun salutations and push-ups, 2) reading fiction for pleasure in the late afternoon (nonfiction is usually something buisinessy for work – not the same), and 3) running a couple things over to Goodwill (and it can be a part of your simplification ritual – more in a later post).

I hope this post doesn’t come across as too preachy. I simply think it’s a good idea to stop and think a little bit about how we spend our free time and if it is really how we want to be spending it.

Now go – I hope you didn’t waste too much of your spare time reading this! Me? I’m going to go catch up on my “Doctor Who” 😉

-Josh

How do you spend your free time? Comment below!

Free E-books! (really)

Read, read, read! Keep those grey cells healthy and multiplying.

One resource you may not be taking advantage of is your local library’s e-book services. Here in Madison, our library uses the OverDrive app for e-book borrowing. All of the books that are available through OverDrive (and there are thousands) can be read directly from the in-app reader, and -get this- most of them can be downloaded straight to your Kindle! You get the book for twenty-one days and can renew it if no one is waiting for it. There are many new releases represented on the virtual shelf, and you have the ability to request that new titles be added to the service as resources become available (“resources” = “money.” There is a voluntary donation button in the app.). For those who lean more toward the aural experience, there are a bunch of audiobooks through the service, too. Did I mention that all of this is free‽ What are you waiting for? Hop to it!

Call To Action – Head over to your library or to their website and see if there is an e-book service available for you. Keep reading!

-Josh